The Bureau of Indian Affairs Jeopardized Land Buy-Back Program Accomplishments by Delegating Land Title Authority
February 22, 2021
• REPORT: The Bureau of Indian Affairs Jeopardized Land Buy-Back Program Accomplishments by Delegating Land Title Authority
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of the Interior evaluated the Department's Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations in a report posted on February 19.
The OIG found that the Bureau of Indian Affairs violated Federal regulations by delegating land title authority to its Acquisition Center. The delegation of land title authority resulted in confusion about roles and responsibilities, allegations of title document defects, breakdown in communication between offices, and the potential for litigation.
In addition, the improper delegation of land title authority could result in claims that the Department breached its fiduciary trust responsibilities by mismanaging tribal trust funds and could potentially place all program actions at risk of being invalidated.